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Request for Proposal (RFP)-REGIS-ER FINAL EXTERNAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

 Amended Terms of Reference: REGIS-ER FINAL EXTERNAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATION (deadline extended)

Anticipated Task Start & End Dates: June – August 2020 (we expect some flexibility on the task dates due to COVID-19)

Deadline for Submission (Extended): May 20, 2020 (17:00 EST)

INTRODUCTION

Following repeated large-scale humanitarian emergencies in the Sahel, USAID recognized that continuing to treat these recurrent crises as acute emergencies is extremely costly and does not effectively address their underlying causes. Consequently, USAID’s Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) initiative realigned existing and new humanitarian and development assistance efforts to strengthen resilience in agro-pastoral and marginal agriculture livelihood zones of the Sahel.

Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Enhanced Resilience (REGIS-ER) is RISE’s flagship multi-sectoral resilience project working to increase the resilience of chronically vulnerable populations in marginal agricultural and agro-pastoral zones in Niger and Burkina Faso. REGIS-ER addresses the root causes of chronic vulnerability by increasing economic well-being, strengthening institutions and governance, and improving health and nutrition status.

REGIS-ER’s expected results are tied to the project’s three main objectives:

  1. Sustainable livelihoods: diversified economic opportunities, intensified climate-smart agricultural and animal production and marketing, increased access to financial services.
  2. Enhanced governance: strengthened natural resource management, disaster risk management, conflict prevention and management, increased coordination between regional and local governance structures.
  3. Improved health and nutrition: increased access to potable water, improved health and nutrition practices.

PURPOSE

USAID/Senegal intends to conduct an external final performance evaluation of its Activity entitled “Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Enhanced Resilience (REGIS-ER).” This evaluation will help the Mission measure activity results to date and measure the effectiveness of the activity’s approach in achieving its stated goals.

The attached Terms of Reference calls for interested firms to propose a team of evaluators to conduct the evaluation over a three- to four-month period. The anticipated start date is June 2020. However, we expect some flexibility on the task dates for this activity according to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Niger and Burkina Faso.

The audience of the Performance Evaluation final report will be:

  • USAID/Senegal, Sahel Regional Office,
  • USAID Niger,
  • USAID Burkina Faso,
  • NCBA/CLUSA,
  • Key stakeholders such as the central and local governments in Burkina Faso and Niger, the technical extension services, the beneficiaries, other donors, partner Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and NGOs.

TASK REQUIREMENT: KEY QUESTIONS

As a final performance evaluation, the evaluation questions will focus on how well REGIS-ER achieved its goals and what is the sustainability of its approach beyond activity implementation.  Specific questions include:

  1. Goal Achievement: To what extent has REGIS-ER achieved its objectives in relation to its expected results/targets? What internal and external factors have influenced the ability of the project to meet expected results and targets? Indicators, targets, and achievements for each intermediate result will be explored; and causal links between output and outcome variables will be explained. Extent of achievement for each output and outcome indicator will be rated in following manner.
    • Exceeded target
    • Achieved target
    • Did not achieve target
  2. Relevance: Which elements of the program are likely to have the most significant impact on building the resilience of chronically vulnerable households in the RISE zone of intervention, and which do not? How do these elements align with beneficiary priorities, and the local social, economic and environmental context? What are the unexpected positive or negative outcomes resulting from the project? The areas to be examined include:
    • Cost/Benefit in agriculture, poultry and small ruminants.
    • Income generating activities of farmers, farmer groups, women’s groups, youth groups, etc., such as habbanaye (livestock assets), irrigation, conservation farming, etc.
    • Role of community-based service providers (CBSP) and their contribution to resilience.
    • Nutrition, maternal and child health and WASH.
    • Governance: strengthening local institutions, increasing citizen participation, and accountability and responsiveness.
    • Identification of the combination of the program elements (or subset of elements) that are likely to render most significant impact.
  3. Effectiveness: To what extent has REGIS-ER’s new implementation approach based on coaching Local Institutions (Municipal Council, Citizen Working Groups and Village/Local Development Committees) achieved its objectives in relation to its expected results/targets? What is the sustainability of this approach beyond REGIS-ER implementation? What are the lessons learned that could benefit RISE II implementing partners, beneficiaries and stakeholders?
  4. Compliance: Did REGIS-ER comply with USAID’s Environmental and Gender Integration/Gender Based-Violence/Youth policies and regulations?

APPROACH

The evaluation will be conducted in three phases over a three- to four-month period, with preliminary findings formally presented in September 2020.

Phase I: Planning, methodology, and tools

Phase II: Data collection and compilation

Phase III: Data analysis and reporting.

Various credible evaluation methods shall be proposed by the evaluation team in providing detailed answers to the specified evaluation questions. The evaluation team will prepare an evaluation matrix for USAID and REGIS-ER review during Phase I of the assignment. The evaluation matrix will propose the most appropriate and feasible data collection method for each of the evaluation questions—specifying the type of data that the team will use to answer each question. The consultant will provide briefings to REGIS-ER team and USAID at the end of phase II; and preliminary report for questions and comments in PHASE III. Additionally, the consultant will hold a debriefing session with USAID and REGIS-ER team before finalizing the report.

Triangulation of quantitative data with qualitative methods is key to understanding situational awareness of resilience drivers and providing a deeper understanding of the processes and interrelationships relevant to household community resilience. However, due to the complexity of the different components of the REGIS-ER program and the spatial location of its activities, opportunities for errors exist, of which the evaluation team should be aware. It is recommended that the evaluation team partner with a local think-tank in Burkina Faso and Niger in order to effectively plan and oversee evaluation activities.  Working with a local institution will allow the evaluation team to mitigate issues around challenging logistics and cover the field work in the time allocated.  The evaluation team will develop quality control systems, including developing detailed data collection guides and overseeing field data collection.

The consultant will apply mixed-method design and will review the midterm evaluation tools and refine them or adjust them as needed for the final evaluation. The data collection methods will include the following:

  • Key Informant Interviews (KII) with relevant stakeholders and key informants in order to provide context in which to view the quantitative data collected via surveys and to get a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the program. Local government authorities, USAID AOR, partner organization representatives, and other relevant individuals as determined by the consultant.
  • Focus Group Discussions (FGD) to obtain perceptions of various stakeholders including CBSPs, municipalities, and local groups.
  • Quantitative Surveys administered to CWG, CVD, and other groups and possibly households to the limited extent considering the security situation on one hand and the data requirement on the other.

Sampling would be done among all the REGIS-ER villages covering those in the original 5-year period as well as the villages from the communes of concentration during the two-year extension period. There would be a sufficient sample size from each period to allow evaluators to answer the evaluation questions with respect to the original approach in the first period and of the changed approach employed in the extension period. The sampling of villages (and households, groups, CBSPs, etc. within those villages as appropriate) would have to be stratified across regions and communes in such a manner that the investigation spans the variety of conditions and circumstances of interest. These include: length of time since REGIS-ER first intervened, types of intervention or combination of interventions of interest and high-intensity vs low-intensity (comparison) sites. Over the life of project, REGIS-ER has intervened in 750 villages (440 in Burkina Faso, 310 in Niger). The applicant will propose the geographic scope of their survey.

DELIVERABLES

The following deliverables will be provided as a part of the REGIS-ER final performance evaluation:

  • Work Plan: Detailed work plan indicating methodology, sampling approach, data analysis, activities and resources necessary for the elaboration of the evaluation. The work plan will include all data collection tools to be used on the REGIS-ER final evaluation. The work plan will be submitted to REGIS-ER’s AOR for approval;
  • Data analysis tools: Set of templates, formats, and Excel spreadsheets used to collect and analyze quantitative and/or qualitative data, and their implementation guidelines;
  • Bi-weekly Progress Reports: A written and/or electronic report of the evaluation’s progress made in the field covering key scheduled activities, completion status and found constrains regarding data collection;
  • Submission of Draft Evaluation Report: The evaluation team will submit a draft report to REGIS-ER AOR, who will coordinate comments for revision;
  • Final Report: A written and electronic document that includes an executive summary, table of contents, methodology, findings, conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations. The report will be submitted in English and French. The final report should include a database with all collected information and statistical analyses, as an annex.
  • Report presentation: The evaluation team will present the final performance evaluation of REGIS-ER during the closure workshops in Niamey and Ouagadougou on September 2020.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Staffing: Staffing will be evaluated for qualifications of the key personnel, who will manage, develop and carry out the activity. Key personnel will include an evaluation team leader and research methods specialist with expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, local evaluators (local partner firms), and specialized expertise in gender, livelihoods, natural resources management, governance, etc.

 

Technical Approach: The technical approach will be evaluated in terms of overall quality and the extent to which the proposed technical approach demonstrates a clear understanding of the objectives of the evaluation and a convincing approach to achieve the expected results. The approach needs to articulate a strong understanding of the context and the constraints to data collection for a complex resilience program, and the proposed approach to overcoming these constraints. The technical approach should describe the evaluation methodology, sample framework and schedule of implementation. Special emphasis must be given to implementing in a zone of insecurity and how the consultant will ensure the integrity of the methodology and data.

 

Organizational Capacity and Management: Organizational capacity and management will be evaluated on the capacity of the applicant and its sub-recipients as demonstrated by its existing capacity, management approach and actual experience in delivering similar services. This includes, but is not limited to, the following considerations:

  • Capacity to manage a project of this size and complexity.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver on schedule.
  • Demonstrated relevant experience in performance evaluations; in the technical areas involved; in collaborating with multiple stakeholders; in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Cost: The applicant will submit a cost proposal that demonstrates ability to execute the services, the cost of the services and whether the proposed costs are consistent with achieving the contract’s objectives. We anticipate awarding a contract for a maximum of $200,000 and selection will emphasize cost effectiveness.

 

Equal weight will be given to each of the criteria areas.

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Please see the attached Terms of Reference for more details. Interested applicants should send the following materials:

  • A technical narrative addressing technical approach, organizational capabilities, past performance, staff profiles, including CVs of key personnel. The technical narrative shall not exceed 12 pages, Times Roman 11-point font, 8½” x 11” letter format with one-inch margins.
  • A financial application including budget details in a spreadsheet along with budget notes explaining basis of cost. All costs must be allowable by USAID regulations.

Applications should be submitted by email to: ProcurementREGIS-ER@ncba.coop with “REGIS Final Evaluation” in the subject line.

Applications must be received by 17:00 EST on Friday, May 20, 2020.

 

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